State Law > Maine > Maine Employment Discrimination Law

Maine Employment Discrimination Law

 

Maine Human Rights Act

  • 4553. Terms defined.
  • 4553-A. Physical or mental disability defined.
  • 4571. Right to freedom from discrimination in employment
  • 4572. Unlawful employment discrimination
  • 4572-A. Unlawful employment discrimination on the basis of sex
  • 4573. Not unlawful employment discrimination
  • 4573-A. Disability and religious discrimination; Defenses.
  • 4574. Mandatory retirement age prohibited
  • 4575. Mandatory retirement age prohibited; Public employers.
  • 4611. Complaint
  • 4633. Retaliation and coercion prohibited.
  • 4634. Breastfeeding rights.

Equal Pay

  • 628. Equal pay

Sexual Harassment

  • 807. Requirements

Genetic Testing/Information discrimination

  • 19302. Prohibited of discrimination based on genetic information or genetic testing.

Tobacco Use Discrimination

  • 597. Tobacco use; Conditions of employment.

Discrimination Against Military Service Personnel

  • 342. Military service; Discrimination prohibited


Maine Employment Discrimination Law

Maine employment discrimination law is located in the sections below of the Maine Revised Statutes.

Maine Human Rights Act

4553. Terms Defined

As used in this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words shall have the following meanings:

1. Commission. --"Commission" means the Maine Human Rights Commission established by this Act.

1-A. Commercial facilities. --"Commercial facilities" means facilities that are intended for nonresidential use.

1-B. Covered entity. --For purposes of subchapter III, "covered entity" means an employer, employment agency, labor organization or joint labor-management committee. For purposes of subchapter V, "covered entity" means any applicable private entity or public entity.

1-C. Direct threat. --For purposes of subchapter III, "direct threat" means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that can not be eliminated by reasonable accommodation.

2. Discriminate. --"Discriminate" includes, without limitation, segregate or separate. For purposes of subchapter III, "discriminate" also includes, as it relates to individuals with physical or mental disability:

A. --Limiting, segregating or classifying a job applicant or employee in a way that adversely affects the opportunities or status of the applicant or employee because of the disability of the applicant or employee;

B. --Participating in a contractual or other arrangement or relationship that has the effect of subjecting a covered entity's qualified applicant or employee with a disability to the discrimination prohibited by this Act. A relationship includes a relationship with an employment or referral agency, labor union, an organization providing fringe benefits to an employee of the covered entity or an organization providing training and apprenticeship programs;

C. --Utilizing standards, criteria or methods of administration:

(1) That have the effect of discrimination on the basis of disability; or

(2) That perpetuate the discrimination of others who are subject to common administrative control;

D. --Excluding or otherwise denying equal jobs or benefits to a qualified individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or association;

E. --Not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless the covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity;

F. --Denying employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee who is an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, if the denial is based on the need of the covered entity to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental impairments of the employee or applicant;v

G. --Using qualification standards, employment tests or other selection criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities unless the standard, test or other selection criteria, as used by the covered entity, is shown to be job-related for the position in question and is consistent with business necessity; and

H. --Failing to select and administer tests concerning employment in the most effective manner to ensure that, when the test is administered to a job applicant or employee who has a disability that impairs sensory, manual or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the skills, aptitude or any other factor of the applicant or employee that the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills of the employee or applicant, except when the skills are the factors that the test purports to measure.

2-A. Educational institution. -- "Educational institution" means any public school or educational program, any public post-secondary institution, any private school or educational program approved fortuition purposes if both male and female students are admitted and the governing body of each such school or program. For purposes related to disability-related discrimination, "educational institution" also means any private school or educational program approved for tuition purposes.

3. Employee. --"Employee" means an individual employed by an employer. "Employee" does not include any individual employed by that individual's parents, spouse or child, except for purposes of disability-related discrimination, in which case the individual is considered to be an employee.

4. Employer. --"Employer" includes any person in this State employing any number of employees, whatever the place of employment of the employees, and any person outside this State employing any number of employees whose usual place of employment is in this State; any person acting in the interest of any employer, directly or indirectly; and labor organizations, whether or not organized on a religious, fraternal or sectarian basis, with respect to their employment of employees. "Employer" does not include a religious or fraternal corporation or association, not organized for private profit and in fact not conducted for private profit, with respect to employment of its members of the same religion, sect or fraternity, except for purposes of disability-related discrimination, in which case the corporation or association is considered to be an employer.

5. Employment agency. --"Employment agency" includes any person undertaking with or without compensation to procure opportunities to work, or to procure, recruit, refer or place employees; it includes, without limitation, placement services, training schools and centers, and labor organizations, to the extent that they act as employee referral sources; and it includes any agent of such person.

5-A. Familial status. --"Familial status" means that a family unit may contain one or more individuals who have not attained the age of 18 years and are living with:

A. --A parent or another person having legal custody of the individual or individuals; or

B. --The designee of the parent or other person having custody, with the written permission of the parent or other person.

The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or who is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

6. Housing accommodation. --"Housing accommodation" includes any building or structure or portion thereof, or any parcel of land, developed or undeveloped, which is occupied, or is intended to be occupied or to be developed for occupancy, for residential purposes excepting:

A. --The rental of a one-family unit of a 2-family dwelling, one unit of which occupied by the owner;

B. --The rental of not more than 4 rooms of a one-family dwelling which is occupied by the owner;

C. --The rental of any dwelling owned, controlled or operated for other than a commercial purpose, by a religious corporation to its membership unless such membership is restricted on account of race, color or national origin.

6-A. "Normal retirement age" means the specified age, the years of service requirement or any age and years of service combination at which a member may become eligible for retirement benefits. This subsection may not be construed to require the mandatory retirement of a member or to deny employment to any person based solely on that person's normal retirement age.

7. Person. --"Person" includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, corporations, municipal corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers and other legal representatives, and includes the State and all agencies thereof.

7-A. "Physical or mental disability" has the meaning set forth in section 4553-A.

7-B. Repealed by P.L. 385 (S.B. 344), L. 2007, effective June 21,, 2007

8. Place of public accommodation. --"Place of public accommodation" means a facility, operated by a public or private entity, whose operations fall within at least one of the following categories:

A. --An inn, hotel, motel or other place of lodging, whether conducted for the entertainment or accommodation of transient guests or those seeking health, recreation or rest;

B. --A restaurant, eating house, bar, tavern, buffet, saloon, soda fountain, ice cream parlor or other establishment serving or selling food or drink;

C. --A motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, roof garden, airdrome or other place of exhibition or entertainment;

D. --An auditorium, convention center, lecture hall or other place of public gathering;

E. --A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, garage, gasoline station or other sales or rental establishment;

F. --A laundromat, dry cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, dispensary, clinic, bathhouse or other service establishment;

G. --All public conveyances operated on land or water or in the air as well as a terminal, depot or other station used for specified public transportation;

H. --A museum, library, gallery or other place of public display or collection;

I. --A park, zoo, amusement park, race course, skating rink, fair, bowling alley, golf course, golf club, country club, gymnasium, health spa, shooting gallery, billiard or pool parlor, swimming pool, seashore accommodation or boardwalk or other place of recreation, exercise or health;

J. --A nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate or postgraduate school or other place of education;

K. --A day-care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency or other social service center establishment;

L. --Public elevators of buildings occupied by 2 or more tenants or by the owner and one or more tenants;

M. --A municipal building, courthouse, town hall or other establishment of the State or a local government; and

N. --Any establishment that in fact caters to, or offers its goods, facilities or services to, or solicits or accepts patronage from, the general public. When a place of public accommodation is located in a private residence, the portion of the residence used exclusively as a residence is not covered by this subchapter, but that portion used exclusively in the operation of the place of public accommodation or that portion used both for the place of public accommodation and for the residential purposes is covered by this subchapter. The covered portion of the residence extends to those elements used to enter the place of public accommodation, and those exterior and interior portions of the residence available to or used by customers or clients, including rest rooms.

8-A. Private entity. --"Private entity" means any entity other than a public entity.

8-B. Public accommodation. --"Public accommodation" means a public or private entity that owns, leases, leases to or operates a place of public accommodation.

8-C. Public entity. --"Public entity" means:

A. --The State or any local government;

B. --Any department, agency, special purpose district or other instrumentality of the State, 2 or more states or a local government; and

C. --A state, local or private commuter authority as defined in the federal Rail Passenger Service Act, Section 103(8).

8-D. Qualified individual with a disability. --"Qualified individual with a disability" applies to only:

A. --Subchapter III (employment); and

B. --Subchapter V (public accommodations) with regard to public entities only.

For purposes of subchapter III, "qualified individual with a disability" means an individual with a physical or mental disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that the individual holds or desires. For purposes of subchapter V, "qualified individual with a disability" means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity.

9. Real estate broker and salesman. --"Real estate broker" and "real estate salesman" have the same definitions as are given respectively in Title 32, section 4001, subsections 2 and 3; but include all persons meeting those definitions, whether or not they are licensed or required to be licensed.

9-A. Reasonable accommodation. --

A. --Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and

B. --Job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

9-B. Undue hardship; undue burden. --"Undue hardship" or "undue burden" mean an action requiring undue financial or administrative hardship. In determining whether an action would result in an undue hardship, factors to be considered include:

A. --The nature and cost of the accommodation needed under this Act;

B. --The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the action, the number of persons employed at the facility, the effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of the action upon the operation of the facility;

C. --The overall financial resources of the covered entity, the overall size of the business of a covered entity with respect to the number of its employees and the number, type and location of its facilities;

D. --The type of operation or operations of the covered entity, including the composition, structure and functions of the work force of the entity, the geographic separateness, administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the covered entity;

E. --All the resources available to meet the costs of the accommodation, including any government funding or other grants available for making public accommodations and places of employment accessible;

F. --The extent to which current costs of accommodations have been minimized by past efforts to provide equal access to persons with disabilities;

G. --The extent to which resources spent on improving inaccessible equipment or service could have been spent on making an accommodation so that service or equipment is accessible to individuals with disabilities, as well as to individuals without disabilities;

H. --Documented good faith efforts to explore less restrictive or less expensive alternatives;

I. --The availability of equipment and technology for the accommodation;

J. --Whether an accommodation would result in a fundamental change in the nature of the public accommodation;

K. --Efforts to minimize costs by spreading costs over time; and

L. --The extent to which resources saved by failing to make an accommodation for persons who have disabilities could have been saved by cutting costs in equipment or services for the general public.

"Undue hardship" or "undue burden" is a higher standard than "readily achievable" and requires a greater level of effort on the part of the public accommodation.

9-C. Sexual orientation. "Sexual orientation" means a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality or gender identity or expression.

9-D, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 664, §1, is repealed.

9-E   Service animal.     

"Service animal" means:

A.  For the purposes of subchapter 4:

 

(1) An animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker; or

 

(2) An animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to intruders or sounds, providing reasonable protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items; and

 

B.  For the purposes of subchapter 5, a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting an individual who is totally or partially blind with navigation and other tasks, alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or a telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability and helping a person with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

10. Unlawful discrimination. --"Unlawful discrimination" includes:

A. --Unlawful employment discrimination as defined and limited by subchapter III;

B. --Unlawful housing discrimination as defined and limited by subchapter IV;

C. --Unlawful public accommodations discrimination as defined by subchapter V;

D. --Aiding, abetting, inciting, compelling or coercing another to do any of such types of unlawful discrimination; obstructing or preventing any person from complying with this Act or any order issued in this subsection; attempting to do any act of unlawful discrimination; and punishing or penalizing, or attempting to punish or penalize, any person for seeking to exercise any of the civil rights declared by this Act or for complaining of a violation of this Act or for testifying in any proceeding brought in this subsection;

E. --In determining whether a person is acting as an agent or employee of another person so as to make the other person responsible for that person's acts, the question of whether the specific acts performed were actually authorized or subsequently ratified is not controlling;

F. --Unlawful educational discrimination as defined and limited by subchapter 5-B; and

G. --Discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, credit and educational opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation, except that a religious corporation, association or organization that does not receive public funds is exempt from this provision with respect to: 

(1) Employment, as is more fully set forth in section 4553, subsection 4 and section 4573-A;

(2) Housing, as is more fully set forth in section 4553, subsection 6, paragraph C; and
(3) Educational opportunity, as is more fully set forth in section 4602, subsection 

4.  Any for-profit organization owned, controlled or operated by a religious association or corporation and subject to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 United States Code, Section 511(a) is not covered by the exemptions set forth in this paragraph.  (Effective 9/28/2011)


4553-A. Physical or mental disability defined.

1. Physical or mental disability, defined. "Physical or mental disability" means:
A. A physical or mental impairment that:
(1) Substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities;
(2) Significantly impairs physical or mental health; or
(3) Requires special education, vocational rehabilitation or related services;
B. Without regard to severity unless otherwise indicated: absent, artificial or replacement limbs, hands, feet or vital organs; alcoholism; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; bipolar disorder; blindness or abnormal vision loss; cancer; cerebral palsy; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Crohn's disease; cystic fibrosis; deafness or abnormal hearing loss; diabetes; substantial disfigurement; epilepsy; heart disease; HIV or AIDS; kidney or renal diseases; lupus; major depressive disorder; mastectomy; mental retardation; multiple sclerosis; muscular dystrophy; paralysis; Parkinson's disease; pervasive developmental disorders; rheumatoid arthritis; schizophrenia; and acquired brain injury;
C. With respect to an individual, having a record of any of the conditions in paragraph A or B; or
D. With respect to an individual, being regarded as having or likely to develop any of the conditions in paragraph A or B.
2. Additional terms. For purposes of this section:
A. The existence of a physical or mental disability is determined without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as medication, auxiliary aids or prosthetic devices; and
B. "Significantly impairs physical or mental health" means having an actual or expected duration of more than 6 months and impairing health to a significant extent as compared to what is ordinarily experienced in the general population.
3. Exceptions. "Physical or mental disability" does not include:
A. Pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania or tobacco smoking;
B. Any condition covered under section 4553, subsection 9-C; or
C. Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs, although this may not be construed to exclude an individual who:
(1) Has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use;
(2) Is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use;
(3) Is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use; or
(4) In the context of a reasonable accommodation in employment, is seeking treatment or has successfully completed treatment.

4571. Right to freedom from discrimination in employment

The opportunity for an individual to secure employment without discrimination because of race, color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

4572. Unlawful employment discrimination

1. Unlawful employment discrimination.

It is unlawful employment discrimination, in violation of this Act, except when based on a bona fide occupational qualification:

A. For any employer to fail or refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, because of the applicant's previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions taken by the applicant that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B; or, because of those reasons, to discharge an employee or discriminate with respect to hire, tenure, promotion, transfer, compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment or any other matter directly or indirectly related to employment; or, in recruiting of individuals for employment or in hiring them, to utilize any employment agency that the employer knows or has reasonable cause to know discriminates against individuals because of their race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, because of their previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B (1) This paragraph does not apply to discrimination governed by Title 39-A, section 353;

B. For any employment agency to fail or refuse to classify properly, refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, because of the individual's previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions taken by the individual that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B; or to comply with an employer's request for the referral of job applicants if a request indicates either directly or indirectly that the employer will not afford full and equal employment opportunities to individuals regardless of their race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, because of previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B;

C. For any labor organization to exclude from apprenticeship or membership or to deny full and equal membership rights to any applicant for membership because of race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, because of the applicant's previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions taken by the applicant that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B; or, because of those reasons, to deny a member full and equal membership rights, expel from membership, penalize or otherwise discriminate with respect to hire, tenure, promotion, transfer, compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, representation, grievances or any other matter directly or indirectly related to membership or employment, whether or not authorized or required by the constitution or bylaws of that labor organization or by a collective labor agreement or other contract; to fail or refuse to classify properly or refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against any member because of race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, because of the member's previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions taken by the member that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B; or to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this section, except that it is lawful for labor organizations and employers to adopt a maximum age limitation in apprenticeship programs, if the employer or labor organization obtains prior approval from the Maine Human Rights Commission of any maximum age limitation employed in an apprenticeship program. The commission shall approve the age limitation if a reasonable relationship exists between the maximum age limitation employed and a legitimate expectation of the employer in receiving a reasonable return upon the employer's investment in an apprenticeship program. The employer or labor organization bears the burden of demonstrating that such a relationship exists;

D. For any employer, employment agency or labor organization, prior to employment or admission to membership of any individual, to:

(1) Elicit or attempt to elicit information directly or indirectly pertaining to race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, any previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or any previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B;

(2) Make or keep a record of race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, any previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or any previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B, except under physical or mental disability when an employer requires a physical or mental examination prior to employment, a privileged record of that examination is permissible if made and kept in compliance with this Act;

(3) Use any form of application for employment, or personnel or membership blank containing questions or entries directly or indirectly pertaining to race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, any previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or any previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B. This section does not prohibit any officially recognized government agency from keeping records permitted to be kept under this Act in order to provide free services to individuals requesting rehabilitation or employment assistance;

(4) Print, publish or cause to be printed or published any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership indicating any preference, limitation, specification or discrimination based upon race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, any previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or any previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B; or

(5) Establish, announce or follow a policy of denying or limiting, through a quota system or otherwise, employment or membership opportunities of any group because of the race or color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, the previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A or because of previous actions that are protected under Title 26, chapter 7, subchapter V-B, of that group; or

E. For an employer, employment agency or labor organization to discriminate in any manner against individuals because they have opposed a practice that would be a violation of this Act or because they have made a charge, testified or assisted in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Act.

2. Unlawful discrimination against qualified individual with a disability.

A covered entity may not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of the individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. A qualified individual with a disability, by reason of that disability, may not be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public covered entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such covered entity relating to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

A. The prohibition of this subsection against discrimination includes medical examinations and inquiries.

B. Except as provided in paragraph C, a covered entity may not conduct a medical examination or make inquiries of a job applicant as to whether the applicant is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of the disability. A covered entity may make preemployment inquiries into the ability of an applicant to perform job-related functions.

C. A covered entity may require a medical examination after an offer of employment has been made to a job applicant and prior to the commencement of the employment duties of the applicant and may condition an offer of employment on the results of the examination, if:

(1) All entering employees are subjected to the same examination regardless of disability;

(2) Information obtained regarding the medical condition or history of the applicant is collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and is treated as a confidential medical record, except that:

(a) Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations;

(b) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment; and

(c) Government officials investigating compliance with this Act are provided relevant information on request; and

(3) The results of the examination are used only in accordance with this Act.

D. A covered entity may not require a medical examination and may not make inquiries of an employee as to whether the employee is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of the disability, unless the examination or inquiry is

E. A covered entity may conduct voluntary medical examinations, including voluntary medical histories, that are part of an employee health program available to employees at that work site. A covered entity may make inquiries into the ability of an employee to perform job-related functions. Information obtained under this paragraph regarding the medical condition or history of an employee is subject to the requirements of paragraph C, subparagraphs (2) and (3).

F. For purposes of this subsection, a test to determine the illegal use of drugs may not be considered a medical examination.

(1) A covered entity:

(a) May prohibit the illegal use of drugs and the use of alcohol at the workplace by all employees;

(b) May require that employees may not be under the influence of alcohol or be engaging in the illegal use of drugs at the workplace;

(c) May require that employees behave in conformance with the requirements established under the federal Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988, 41 United States Code, Section 701 et seq.; and

(d) May hold an employee who engages in the illegal use of drugs or who is an alcoholic to the same qualification standards for employment or job performance and behavior to which that entity holds other employees, even if any unsatisfactory performance or behavior is related to the drug use or alcoholism of the employee; provided that an employer shall make reasonable accommodation to an alcoholic or drug user who is seeking treatment or has successfully completed treatment.

4572-A. Unlawful employment discrimination on the basis of sex

1. Sex defined. For the purpose of this Act, the word "sex" includes pregnancy and medical conditions which result from pregnancy.

2. Pregnant women who are able to work. It shall be unlawful employment discrimination in violation of this Act, except where based on a bona fide occupational qualification, for an employer, employment agency or labor organization to treat a pregnant woman who is able to work in a different manner from other persons who are able to work.

3. Pregnant women who are not able to work. It shall also be unlawful employment discrimination in violation of this Act, except where based on a bona fide occupational qualification, for an employer, employment agency or labor organization to treat a pregnant woman who is not able to work because of a disability or illness resulting from pregnancy, or from medical conditions which result from pregnancy, in a different manner from other employees who are not able to work because of other disabilities or illnesses.

4. Employer not responsible for additional benefits. Nothing in this section may be construed to mean that an employer, employment agency or labor organization is required to provide sick leave, a leave of absence, medical benefits or other benefits to a woman because of pregnancy or other medical conditions that result from pregnancy, if the employer, employment agency or labor organization does not also provide sick leaves, leaves of absence, medical benefits or other benefits for the employer's other employees and is not otherwise required to provide those leaves or benefits under other state or federal laws.

5. Small business exception. (repealed)

4573. Not unlawful employment discrimination
It shall not be unlawful employment discrimination:

1. Age.

1-A. Age. To discriminate on account of age to:

A. Comply with the state or federal laws relating to the employment of minors;

B. Observe the terms of any bona fide employee benefit plan such as a retirement, pension or insurance plan that does not evade or circumvent the purposes of this chapter and that complies with the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code, Section 621, as amended and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code, Section 12101, et seq., and federal administrative interpretations provided that:

(1) No employee benefit plan requires or permits any employer to refuse or fail to hire an applicant for employment, including those exempted from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code, Section 621, as amended, because of the age of the individual; and

(2) No employee benefit plan requires or permits the denial or termination of employment of any individual including those exempted from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code, Section 621, as amended, because of the age of the individual or after completion of a specified number of years of service.

2. Records. After employment or admission to membership, to make a record of such features of an individual as are needed in good faith for the purpose of identifying them, provided the record is intended and used in good faith solely for identification, and not for the purpose of discrimination in violation of this Act. Records of features regarding physical or mental disability that are collected must be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate files and be treated as confidential records;

3. Required records. To record any data required by law, or by the rules and regulations of any state or federal agency, provided the records are recorded and kept in good faith for the purpose of complying with law, and are not used for the purpose of discrimination in violation of this Act;

4. Discharge of or refusal to hire employee with physical or mental disability.

5. Federal Indian policy. Nothing in this Act may be construed to prohibit any employment policy or action that is permitted under 42 United States Code, Section 2000e-2(i) (1982) of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Act governing employment of Indians; and

6. Infectious and communicable diseases. Assignment of individuals with an infectious or communicable disease is governed by the following.

A. In any case in which an individual has an infectious or communicable disease that is transmitted to others through the handling of food, that is included on the list developed by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Title I, Section 103(d)(1), and which can not be eliminated by reasonable accommodation, a covered entity may refuse to assign or continue to assign the individual a job involving food handling.

B. Nothing in this Act may be construed to preempt, modify or amend any state, county or local law, ordinance, rule or regulation applicable to food handling that is designed to protect the public health from individuals who pose a significant risk to the health or safety of others, which can not be eliminated by reasonable accommodation, pursuant to the list of infectious or communicable diseases and the modes of transmissibility published by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

4573-A. Disability and religious discrimination; Defenses.

1. General provisions. It is a defense to a charge of discrimination under this subchapter that an alleged application of qualification standards, tests or selection criteria that screen out or tend to screen out or otherwise deny a job or benefit to an individual with a disability has been shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity, and such performance can not be accomplished by reasonable accommodation, as required by this subchapter.

1-A. Qualification standards defined. For the purposes of this section, "qualification standards" may include a requirement that an individual doe not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace.

1-B. Physical or mental disability. This subchapter does not prohibit an employer from discharging or refusing to hire an individual with physical or mental disability, or subject an employer to any legal liability resulting from the refusal to employ or the discharge of individual with physical or mental disability, if the individual, because of the physical or mental disability, is unable to perform the duties or to perform the duties in a manner that would not endanger the health or safety of the individual or others or is unable to be at, remain at or go to or from the place where the duties of employment are to be performed.

2. Religious entities. This subchapter does not prohibit a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society from giving preference in employment to individuals of its same religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by the corporation, association, educational institution or society of its activities. Under this subchapter, a religious organization may require that all applicants and employees conform to the religious tenets of that organization.

4574. Mandatory retirement age prohibited

1. Definition. As used in this section and section 4573, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the following meanings.

A. "Employer" shall mean any individual or type of organization, including domestic and foreign corporations and partnerships, doing business in the State.

2. Legislative findings and intent. The Legislature finds that many older Maine citizens are forced out of the work force solely because of their age. The Legislature further finds that many older Maine residents who have been forced out of the work force are fully capable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities required by their employment. Finally, the Legislature finds that many older Maine citizens, because of their years of experience, can make valuable contributions to the work force.
It is the intent of the Legislature that discrimination based on age against any person who seeks employment in the private sector or who is already employed by a private employer shall not be tolerated. It is further the intent of the Legislature to ensure that any older person who seeks employment or wishes to continue employment in the private sector and who is capable of fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of this employment shall be treated like any other person who seeks employment or wishes to continue this employment. Finally, it is the clear and unequivocal intent of the Legislature to prohibit employers in the private sector from requiring employees to retire at a specified age, or after completion of a specified number of years of service.

3. Unlawful employment discrimination. It shall be unlawful employment discrimination:

A. For any employer to fail or refuse to hire any applicant for employment because of the age of the individual; or
B. For any employer to require or permit, as a condition of employment, any employee to retire at or before a specified age or after completion of a specified number of years of service.

4. Normal retirement age. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of a "normal retirement age," as defined in section 4553, subsection 6-A, provided that normal retirement age and the accrual or awarding of pension or retirement benefits shall not be used in any way to require the retirement of an employee or to deny employment to a person.
5. Federal requirements. This subchapter shall not be construed to affect or limit any power or duty relating to pension or retirement plans which the United States Government reserves to itself.
6. Applicability. This section shall apply to all employers in the State.

4575. Mandatory retirement age prohibited; Public employers.

1. Legislative findings and intent.

The Legislature finds that many older Maine citizens are pushed out of the work force solely because of their age. The Legislature further finds that many older Maine residents who have been pushed out of the work force are fully capable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities required by employment. Finally, the Legislature finds that many older Maine citizens, because of their years of experience, can make valuable contributions to the work force.

It is the intent of the Legislature that discrimination based on age against any person who seeks employment in the public sector or who is already employed by a public employer shall not be tolerated. It is further the intent of the Legislature to ensure that any older person who seeks or wishes to continue employment in the public sector and who is capable of fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of such employment, shall be treated like any other person who seeks or wishes to continue such employment. Finally, it is the clear and unequivocal intent of the Legislature to prohibit employers in the public sector from requiring employees to retire at a specified age or after completion of a specified number of years of service.

2. Criteria and standards.

A state department or public school may establish reasonable criteria and standards of job performance to be used for the purpose of determining when employment of its employees should be terminated. Where there is a certified bargaining agent, the establishment of these criteria and standards may be a subject of collective bargaining. These criteria and standards shall be consistent for all employees in the same or similar job classifications, shall be applied fairly to all employees regardless of age and shall be consistent with the provisions of this Act relating to the employment of physically and mentally handicapped persons.

(paragraph 3 not reproduced)

4611. Complaint

Any person who believes that the person has been subject to unlawful discrimination, or any employee of the commission, may file a complaint under oath with the commission stating the facts concerning the alleged discrimination, provided that such complaints must be filed with the commission not more than 6 months after the alleged act of unlawful discrimination. In addition, any person may file a complaint pursuant to section 4632.

4612. Procedure on complaints - Effective September 20, 2007

1. Predetermination resolution; investigation. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the commission or its delegated single commissioner or investigator shall take the following actions.

A. The commission or its delegated single commissioner or investigator shall provide an opportunity for the complainant and respondent to resolve the matter by settlement agreement prior to a determination of whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination has occurred. Evidence of conduct or statements made in compromise settlement negotiations, offers of settlement and any final agreement are confidential and may not be disclosed without the written consent of the parties to the proceeding nor used as evidence in any subsequent proceeding, civil or criminal, except in a civil action alleging a breach of agreement filed by the commission or a party. Notwithstanding this paragraph, the commission and its employees have discretion to disclose such information to a party as is reasonably necessary to facilitate settlement. The commission may adopt rules providing for a 3rd-party neutral mediation program. The rules may permit one or more parties to a proceeding to agree to pay the costs of mediation. The commission may receive funds from any source for the purposes of implementing a 3rd-party neutral mediation program.

B. The commission or its delegated commissioner or investigator shall conduct such preliminary investigation as it determines necessary to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination has occurred. In conducting an investigation, the commission, or its designated representative, must have access at all reasonable times to premises, records, documents, individuals and other evidence or possible sources of evidence and may examine, record and copy those materials and take and record the testimony or statements of such persons as are reasonably necessary for the furtherance of the investigation. The commission may issue subpoenas to compel access to or production of those materials or the appearance of those persons, subject to section 4566, subsections 4-A and 4-B, and may serve interrogatories on a respondent to the same extent as interrogatories served in aid of a civil action in the Superior Court. The commission may administer oaths. The complaint and evidence collected during the investigation of the complaint, other than data identifying persons not parties to the complaint, is a matter of public record at the conclusion of the investigation of the complaint prior to a determination by the commission. An investigation is concluded upon issuance of a letter of dismissal or upon listing of the complaint on a published commission meeting agenda, whichever first occurs. Prior to the conclusion of an investigation, all information possessed by the commission relating to the investigation is confidential and may not be disclosed, except that the commission and its employees have discretion to disclose such information as is reasonably necessary to further the investigation. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the complaint and evidence collected during the investigation of the complaint may be, used as evidence in any subsequent proceeding, civil or criminal.

2. Order of dismissal. If the commission does not find reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination has occurred, it shall enter an order so finding, and dismiss the proceeding.

3. Informal methods, conciliation. If the commission finds reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination has occurred, but finds no emergency of the sort contemplated in subsection 4, paragraph B, it shall endeavor to eliminate such discrimination by informal means such as conference, conciliation and persuasion. Everything said or done as part of such endeavors is confidential and may not be disclosed without the written consent of the parties to the proceeding, nor used as evidence in any subsequent proceeding, civil or criminal, except in a civil action alleging a breach of agreement filed by the commission or a party. Notwithstanding this subsection, the commission and its employees have discretion to disclose such information to a party as is reasonably necessary to facilitate conciliation. If the case is disposed of by such informal means in a manner satisfactory to a majority of the commission, it shall dismiss the proceeding.

4. Civil action by commission.

A. If the commission finds reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination has occurred, and further believes that irreparable injury or great inconvenience will be caused the victim of such discrimination or to members of a racial, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religious or nationality group or age group if relief is not immediately granted, or if conciliation efforts under subsection 3 have not succeeded, the commission may file in the Superior Court a civil action seeking such relief as is appropriate, including temporary restraining orders.

B. Grounds for the filing of such an action before attempting conciliation include, but are not limited to:

(1) In unlawful housing discrimination, that the housing accommodation sought is likely to be sold or rented to another during the pendency of proceedings, or that an unlawful eviction is about to occur;

(2) In unlawful employment discrimination, that the victim of the discrimination has lost or is threatened with the loss of job and income as a result of such discrimination;

(3) In unlawful public accommodations discrimination, that such discrimination is causing inconvenience to many persons;

(4) In any unlawful discrimination, that the victim of the discrimination is suffering or is in danger of suffering severe financial loss in relation to circumstances, severe hardship or personal danger as a result of such discrimination.

5. Confidentiality of 3rd-party records. The Legislature finds that persons who are not parties to a complaint under this chapter as a complainant or a person accused of discrimination have a right to privacy. Any records of the commission which are open to the public under Title 1, chapter 13, shall be kept in such a manner as to ensure that data identifying these 3rd parties is not reflected in the record. Only data reflecting the identity of these persons may be kept confidential.

6. Right to sue. If, within 180 days of a complaint being filed with the commission, the commission has not filed a civil action in the case or has not entered into a conciliation agreement in the case, the complainant may request a right-to-sue letter, and, if a letter is given, the commission shall end its investigation.


4613. Procedure in Superior Court

1. Actions filed by commission. --Any such action filed by the commission shall be heard by the Superior Court and may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other civil cases where the court shall determine that the interests of justice so require. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the court shall hear the case and grant relief as in other civil actions for injunctions. Any such action shall be brought in the name of the commission for the use of the victim of the alleged discrimination or of a described class, and the commission shall furnish counsel for the prosecution thereof. Any person aggrieved by the alleged discrimination may intervene in such an action. In no such action brought by the commission shall any injunction bond be required, nor shall damages be assessed for the wrongful issuance of an injunction.

2. All actions under this Act. In any action filed under this Act by the commission or by any other person:

A. Where any person who has been the subject of alleged unlawful housing discrimination has not acquired substitute housing, temporary injunctions against the sale or rental to others of the housing accommodation as to which the violation allegedly occurred, and against the sale or rental of other housing accommodations controlled by the alleged violator shall be liberally granted in the interests of furthering the purposes of this Act, when it appears probable that the plaintiff will succeed upon final disposition of the case.

B. If the court finds that unlawful discrimination occurred, its judgment must specify an appropriate remedy or remedies for that discrimination. The remedies may include, but are not limited to:

1) An order to cease and desist from the unlawful practices specified in the order;

2) An order to employ or reinstate a victim of unlawful employment discrimination, with or without back pay;

3) An order to accept or reinstate such a person in a union;

4) An order to rent or sell a specified housing accommodation, or one substantially identical to that accommodation if controlled by the respondent, to a victim of unlawful housing discrimination;

5) An order requiring the disclosure of the locations and descriptions of all housing accommodations that the violator has the right to sell, rent, lease or manage and forbidding the sale, rental or lease of those housing accommodations until the violator has given security to ensure compliance with any order entered against the violator and with all provisions of this Act. An order may continue the court's jurisdiction until the violator has demonstrated compliance and may defer decision on some or all relief until after a probationary period and a further hearing on the violator's conduct during that period;

6) An order to pay the victim, in cases of unlawful price discrimination, 3 times the amount of any excessive price demanded and paid by reason of that unlawful discrimination;

7) An order to pay to the victim of unlawful discrimination, other than employment discrimination in the case of a respondent who has more than 14 employees, or, if the commission brings action on behalf of the victim, an order to pay to the victim, the commission or both, civil penal damages not in excess of $10,000 in the case of the first order under this Act against the respondent, not in excess of $25,000 in the case of a 2nd order against the respondent arising under the same subchapter of this Act and not in excess of $50,000 in the case of a 3rd or subsequent order against the respondent arising under the same subchapter of this Act, except that the total amount of civil penal damages awarded in any action filed under this Act may not exceed the limits contained in this subparagraph;

8) In cases of intentional employment discrimination with respondents who have more than 14 employees, compensatory and punitive damages as provided in this subparagraph.

a) In an action brought by a complaining party under section 4612 and this section against a respondent who engaged in unlawful intentional discrimination prohibited under sections 4571 to 4575, if the complaining party can not recover under 42 United States Code, Section 1981 (1994), the complaining party may recover compensatory and punitive damages as allowed in this subparagraph in addition to any relief authorized elsewhere in this subsection from the respondent.

b) When a discriminatory practice involves the provision of a reasonable accommodation, damages may not be awarded under this subparagraph when the covered entity demonstrates good faith efforts, in consultation with the person with the disability who has informed the covered entity that accommodation is needed, to identify and make a reasonable accommodation that would provide that individual with an equally effective opportunity and would not cause an undue hardship on the operation of the business.

c) A complaining party may recover punitive damages under this subparagraph against a respondent if the complaining party demonstrates that the respondent engaged in a discriminatory practice or discriminatory practices with malice or with reckless indifference to the rights of an aggrieved individual protected by this Act.

d) Compensatory damages awarded under this subparagraph do not include back pay, interest on back pay or any other type of relief authorized elsewhere under this subsection.

e) The sum of compensatory damages awarded under this subparagraph for future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, other nonpecuniary losses and the amount of punitive damages awarded under this section may not exceed for each complaining party:

i) In the case of a respondent who has more than 14 and fewer than 101 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $50,000;

ii) In the case of a respondent who has more than 100 and fewer than 201 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $100,000;

iii) In the case of a respondent who has more than 200 and fewer than 501 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $200,000; and

iv) In the case of a respondent who has more than 500 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $300,000.

f) Nothing in this subparagraph may be construed to limit the scope of, or the relief available under, 42 United States Code, Section 1981 (1994).

g) If a complaining party seeks compensatory or punitive damages under this subparagraph, any party may demand a trial by jury and the court may not inform the jury of the limitations described in division (e).

h) This subparagraph does not apply to recoveries for a practice that is unlawful only because of its disparate impact.

i) Punitive damages may not be included in a judgment or award against a governmental entity, as defined in Title 14, section 8102, subsection 2, or against an employee of a governmental entity based on a claim that arises out of an act or omission occurring within the course or scope of that employee's employment; and

9) In addition to other remedies in subparagraphs (1) to (8), an order to pay actual damages in the case of discriminatory housing practices. This subparagraph is not intended to limit actual damages available to a plaintiff alleging other discrimination if the remedy of actual damages is otherwise available under this Act;

C. The action shall be commenced not more than 2 years after the act of unlawful discrimination complained of.

D. The obtaining of an approval of a plan certified by the Office of the State Fire Marshal under section 4594-F, subsection 8 or 9 is rebuttable evidence that the plan does meet or exceed the minimum requirements of section 4594-F, subsection 8 or 9.

4622. Attorneys' fees and damages; Limitations; Procedures.

1. Limitation.

No attorneys' fees under section 4614 and no civil penal damages under section 4613 may be awarded to a plaintiff in a civil action under this Act unless the plaintiff alleges and establishes that, prior to the filing of the civil action, the plaintiff first filed a complaint with the commission and the commission either:

A. Dismissed the case under section 4612, subsection 2;

B. Failed, within 90 days after finding reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination occurred, to enter into a conciliation agreement to which the plaintiff was a party; or

C. Issued a right-to-sue letter under section 4612, subsection 6 and the action was brought by the aggrieved person not more than 2 years after the act of unlawful discrimination of which the complaint was made as provided in section 4613, subsection 2, paragraph C.

This subsection does not apply to or limit any remedies for civil actions filed under subchapter V1 if one or more additional causes of action are alleged in the same civil action that do not require exhaustion of administrative remedies.

2. Advancement on docket; priority.

If the plaintiff alleges and establishes that the conditions of subsection 1 have been met, the action may also be advanced on the docket and given priority over other civil actions.

4633. Retaliation and coercion prohibited.

1. Retaliation.

A person may not discriminate against any individual because that individual has opposed any act or practice that is unlawful under this Act or because that individual made a charge, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Act.

2. Interference, coercion or intimidation.

It is unlawful for a person to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual in the exercise or enjoyment of the rights granted or protected by this Act or because that individual has exercised or enjoyed, or has aided or encouraged another individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, those rights.

3. Remedies and procedures.

The remedies and procedures available under sections 4611 to 4614, 4621, 4622 and 4623 are available to aggrieved persons for violations of subsections 1 and 2.

4634. Breastfeeding rights.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast-feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

576. Gender equity in school administrative positions

The commission shall promote gender equity in the hiring of public school administrators in cooperation with the Commissioner of Education and investigate all human rights complaints associated with the public school system.

Equal Pay

628. Equal pay

An employer may not discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in this State at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs that have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility. Differentials that are paid pursuant to established seniority systems or merit increase systems or difference in the shift or time of the day worked that do not discriminate on the basis of sex are not within this prohibition. An employer may not discharge or discriminate against any employee by reason of any action taken by such employee to invoke or assist in any manner the enforcement of this section.

The Department of Labor shall annually report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over labor matters on progress made in the State to comply with this section. The report must be issued annually on Equal Pay Day as designated pursuant to Title 1, section 140.

626-A. Penalties.

Whoever violates any of the provisions of sections 621-A to 623 or section 626, 628, 629 or 629-B is subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each violation.

Any employer is liable to the employee or employees for the amount of unpaid wages and health benefits. Upon a judgment being rendered in favor of any employee or employees, in any action brought to recover unpaid wages or health benefits under this subchapter, such judgment includes, in addition to the unpaid wages or health benefits adjudged to be due, a reasonable rate of interest, costs of suit including a reasonable attorney's fee, and an additional amount equal to twice the amount of unpaid wages as liquidated damages.

Remedies for unpaid wages do not become available to the employee except as follows. If the wages are clearly due without a bona fide dispute, remedies are available to the employee 8 days after the due date for payment. If there is a bona fide dispute at the time payment is due, remedies become available to the employee 8 days after demand when the wages are, in fact, due and remain unpaid.

The action for unpaid wages or health benefits may be brought by either the affected employee or employees or by the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor is further authorized to supervise the payment of the judgment, collect the judgment on behalf of the employee or employees and collect fines incurred through violation of this subchapter. When the Department of Labor brings an action for unpaid wages or health benefits, this action and an action to collect a civil forfeiture may both be joined in the same proceeding.

Sexual Harassment

807. Requirements

In addition to employer responsibilities set forth in rules adopted under Title 5, section 4572, all employers shall act to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment by implementing the following minimum requirements.

1. Workplace posting.

An employer shall post in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace a poster providing, at a minimum, the following information: the illegality of sexual harassment; a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the complaint process available through the commission; and directions on how to contact the commission. The text of this poster may meet but may not exceed 6th-grade literacy standards. Upon request, the commission shall provide this poster to employers at a price that reflects the cost as determined by the commission. This poster may be reproduced.

2. Employee notification.

Employers shall provide annually all employees with individual written notice that includes at a minimum the following information: the illegality of sexual harassment; the definition of sexual harassment under state law; a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the internal complaint process available to the employee; the legal recourse and complaint process available through the commission; directions on how to contact the commission; and the protection against retaliation as provided pursuant to Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D. This notice must be initially provided within 90 days after the effective date of this subchapter. The notice must be delivered in a manner to ensure notice to all employees without exception, such as including the notice with an employee's pay.

3. Education and training.

In workplaces with 15 or more employees, employers shall conduct an education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes, at a minimum, the following information: the illegality of sexual harassment; the definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations, including the Maine Human Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code, Title VII, Sections 2000e to 2000e-17; a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the internal complaint process available to the employee; the legal recourse and complaint process available through the commission; directions on how to contact the commission; and the protection against retaliation as provided under Title 5, section 4553, subsection 10, paragraph D. Employers shall conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes, at a minimum, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and methods that these employees must take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints.

Education and training programs conducted under this subsection by the State, a county or a municipality for its public safety personnel, including, but not limited to, law enforcement personnel, corrections personnel and firefighters, may be used to meet training and education requirements mandated by any other law, rule or other official requirement.

Genetic Testing/Information discrimination

19302. Prohibited of discrimination based on genetic information or genetic testing.

1. Discrimination prohibited. An employer may not fail or refuse to hire, discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment with respect to the compensation, terms or conditions of employment on the basis of genetic information concerning that individual or because of the individual's refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available the results of a genetic test or on the basis that the individual received a genetic test or genetic counseling, except when based on a bona fide occupational qualification.

2. Enforcement; remedies. The Maine Human Rights Commission shall enforce this section. Violations of this section are subject to the remedies available under chapter 337, subchapters VI and VII.

Tobacco Use Discrimination

597. Tobacco use; Conditions of employment.

An employer or an agent of an employer may not require, as a condition of employment, that any employee or prospective employee refrain from using tobacco products outside the course of that employment or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person's compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment for using tobacco products outside the course of employment as long as the employee complies with any workplace policy concerning use of tobacco.

Discrimination Against Military Service Personnel

Sec. 342. [Military service; Discrimination prohibited].
...

5. Employment; Leave of absence. It is unlawful for any public or private employer to penalize any member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces, with regard to compensation, hiring, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment or to deny any other incident or advantage of employment due to the employee's membership or participation in the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces.

A. Any person, including an employer described in this subsection, who willfully deprives a member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces, of the member's employment, prevents the member's employment, interferes with the member's employment rights as described in this subsection, or otherwise obstructs the member or the member's employer with respect to the member's occupation or business because of the member's membership in the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces, or who dissuades any person from enlisting in, the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces by threat of injury to the member's occupation or business, is guilty of a Class E crime.

B. All officials and employees of the State who are members of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces must have a leave of absence not to exceed 17 work days each calendar year from their respective duties, without loss of pay or time, when engaged in military training and without loss of time or leave for all other military training, during which the members are so engaged.

6. Discrimination against members of the national guard or reserves of the United States armed forces. Anyone who discriminates against personnel of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces must be punished as follows.

A. No association or corporation organized to promote the trade, occupation or business of its members may by a rule or act discriminate against any member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces with respect to the member's eligibility for membership in the association or corporation, nor the member's right to retain the member's membership. Whoever aids in enforcing a rule or action against a member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces, with intent to discriminate against the member, is guilty of a Class E crime.

B. Whoever without good cause discriminates against any uniformed member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces with respect to the enjoyment of any public place of amusement, the use of any public conveyance, access to public lodging or the receipt of other services generally available to the public is guilty of a Class E crime.

7. Interference with members in pergormance of duties. Whoever intentionally molests, abuses or interferes with any member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces in the performance of the member's duty is guilty of a Class E crime.

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